6 Menachem Av 5772
Israel’s security chiefs rally to disperse war clouds with Syria
...The chief of staff, like the defense ministry official, ...broke ranks with the muscle-flexing President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, by urging a large measure of restraint against Syria’s admitted possession of chemical weapons.
The two Israeli security chiefs answered the Syrian Foreign Ministry’s warning Monday - that Damascus would only use chemical weapons if faced with “external aggression” - by making it clear that Israel is not planning to attack Syria. Therefore, Bashar Assad has no cause to target Israel for any unconventional warfare attacks he may plan.
Amos Gilead dismissed as “not credible” the rebel Free Syrian Army’s Tuesday statement that the Damascus government has moved chemical weapons to airports on its borders, along with equipment for mixing chemical components. He also said emphatically: “Hizballah does not have Syrian chemical weapons at this time,” thereby laying the ground for Gen. Gantz’s assurance.
Both sought to cut through the war clouds gathering between Israel and Syria since July 20, when US Pentagon sources first disclosed that Syria’s chemical weapons had been moved out of storage.
Debkafile’s military sources strongly doubt that Gilead and Gantz will achieve their purpose - either in Damascus or at home. They have only generated the troubling impression of an Israeli leadership divided against itself by broadcasting mixed signals on the highly incendiary issue of the largest chemical arsenal in the world in the hands of one of its most ruthless despots.
...Rather than inspiring confidence and calm in the Israeli street, Gilead and Gantz sowed confusion and alarm -most of all by their assurance that Assad is in “full control” of his unconventional weapons arsenal and it has not yet passed into “negative hands.”.
...By flatly contradicting the statements of Israel’s prime minister and defense minister, the two security chiefs caused extreme damage to Israel’s credibility without serving any beneficial purpose. How will this be taken in Damascus and Tehran?